Business Profiles

by Speed Queen

last updated 20/06/2024


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Money Spinner

by Speed Queen

last updated 20/06/2024


Laundry business operator watches the funds roll in, day and night

From his home in Auckland, Matt Fogarty is used to seeing his Fog’s Laundromat business in Tauranga roll in the cash. Since opening the Speed Queen franchise in Greerton in 2020, Matt has been blown away by the results of what he now terms ‘Tauranga’s best self-service laundromat’. 

Matt Fogarty - Speed Queen franchisee
Matt Fogarty - Speed Queen franchisee

Matt is delighted to have developed a strong, passive income stream after becoming a laundromat owner. ‘We’d been looking into buying a business for a long time,’ he said. ‘We needed something that was going to give us a passive income, that wasn’t going to suck up too much of our time because we needed to juggle it with our day jobs.’

Speed Queen got him in a spin. ‘It sounded like a great opportunity that could provide exactly the kind of passive income we were looking for. And it was - it started paying for itself very quickly!’

No failures

Laundromats are back in fashion. ‘As apartments have shrunk, and the cost of domestic machines has grown, self-serve laundromats have become more and more popular,’ says Royce Little, Speed Queen’s head of laundromat sales. ‘This trend has created the perfect business opportunity: Speed Queen-equipped laundromats are cashless and capable of being run remotely. You don’t need staff or an expensive location – provided there’s plenty of parking, a practical and much cheaper site is ideal.’

Founded in 1908, Speed Queen has been operating in New Zealand for 25 years. The company is the world number one supplier of commercial laundry equipment, and it also leads the market with technology. Laundromat owners like Matt operate under their own brand using Speed Queen equipment and have access to the company’s massive experience when it comes to site selection, fit-out and support.

‘We’ve equipped over 50 outlets around New Zealand in the last 3 years, and we’ve never built an outlet that has failed,’ Royce says proudly. ‘We’ve no desire to spoil that record, so when Matt came to us, we gave him all the help he needed.’

Slam-dunk design

The remote operation option meant that the Auckland-based Matt was able to consider opportunities anywhere in the country for his new business. He found an ideal location in Tauranga, three hours away from home. ‘I wasn’t worried by that, as it is quite clear the Speed Queen model is specifically set up for this,’ he says.

‘Speed Queen agreed it was a great location, but then I was out of my depth as I’d never signed a lease in my life,’ Matt laughs. ‘Fortunately, Speed Queen held my hand throughout that and the council approval process, and also through store fit-out. Speed Queen can arrange contractors, but I decided to do that bit myself as part of learning the business. Again, the support was excellent – Royce provided an absolute slam-dunk in terms of design and layout, and his other suggestions have helped set me apart from the competition.’

Remote operation really does work

So how does Matt find remote operation? ‘I had to train myself not to rush down every other day to make sure all was well at first, but now I know it really does work! I employ a security company to open the store early and close late; I have a cleaner who goes in once a day, I’m connected to each machine via an app on my phone and have cloud- connected security cameras so I can tell exactly what it is doing at all times. The machines are so robust that there have been no problems, but if there were an issue I have access to excellent service agents who are happy to help.

‘The best part is that customers just love it. We use standard EFTPOS terminals that are similar to those used in service stations and shops, and every machine is connected to them so I can watch as people transfer funds into my bank account 18 hours a day. And cashless operation means no temptation for thieves, of course.

‘I’ve done a lot of advertising on social media, but I can do that from anywhere. When I do go to Tauranga, though, I like to spend a day or so there as I enjoy talking to customers and getting to know what they want from the business.

‘Would I do it again? You bet I would. Everything was up front, there have been no surprises, and the business really does run itself.’

Attractive for investors

Royce says that investing in a Speed Queen laundromat offers a hugely attractive proposition for investors.

‘A medium-sized investment will be between $250,000 and $300,000, with a deposit required of $75-100,000. The return on the total investment is in the region of 20-30 percent, and we’ve had some owners do much better than that.

‘If you are interested in opening your own remote-controlled, cashless, money-making investment, we have several areas with considerable potential. Get in touch to find out more.’ 

See this advertorial on page 59 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 33 Issue 2

Contact details for Speed Queen

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